Standardization or why do we have to work with outdated technologies?
So why was prototype chosen back then?
Back then in 2009 jQuery was already in the lead while prototype seemed to die. It was obvious that prototype would loose the battle considering the majority of use cases. Still the decision was for prototype.
This was the case because all previous websites build at this company were using prototype and there was fear that if a new technology would be introduce it would increase the complexity for the whole team. Keeping the number of interchangeable technologies low seems to be a good idea, right?
But now there are many websites still using prototype and less and less developers who know how to work with it. You can be frustrated by it when so many cool new ideas exist out there as jQuery plugins not available for you.
It is sensible to choose standard technologies when you can be certain that those are no longer evolving too fast or to erratically.
Choosing PHP, Java or Ruby or the like is sensible. Choosing MySQL or PostgreSQL is sensible. Apache or nginx is sensible. Symfony or Zend Framework can be sensible based on your requirements.
However there are technologies that I would recommend to pick and try out such as HTML5 boilerplate or Twitter Bootstrap or hogan.js or ICanHaz.js or zepto.js and a whole lot more. But I would never recommend to make them a standard for your whole company. These things evolve far too quickly to fix them.
I would have said the same about prototype and jQuery at the time back in 2009. I would’ve recommended to use jQuery but to be open for the next new kid on the block with your next project. Development of these things is so fast why would you ever want to step on the brakes?